(Photo: Courtesy)

Lomelín was already among the top 12 in the world in 2020. Jaime was nominated by Antonio Argüelles, the only Mexican swimmer to have won the Man of the Year award, in order to be able get into the Top 12.

“The nomination was for a track record of more than 40 years and my Mexican records. I’m competing against 11 other swimmers around the world “, Lomelín told CONECTA.

The swimmer began his sporting career while studying Chemical Engineering and Administration at Tecnológico de Monterrey.

See more: Here’s the plan for providing the Huichol with drinking water in 2021

His beginnings as a professional swimmer

Jaime began his career as a swimmer while studying for a degree at the Monterrey campus. “I was on the Tec swimming team for the 4 and a half years of my degree. We had a coach from Acapulco, and he would take us to the Guadalupano Swimming Marathon. We went every year during my time at the university. That’s where I acquired the taste for swimming. My passion was actually born at Tec de Monterrey,” recalls Lomelín.

After graduating with a degree in Chemical Engineering and Administration in 1985, Lomelín decided to keep swimming alongside his professional activities. Jaime says that for six years he participated in some of the most iconic races, and he swam against some of the best competitors in the world.

“The ‘creme de la creme’ of open water swimming were there. At my first race in Capri, Naples in 1987, I came in fifth place and broke Guillermo Echeverría’s Mexican record,” he says.

From there, his passion for open-water swimming became ever greater and led him to further national and international competitions.

“I’ll continue doing it as long as my head, my heart, and my body will let me,” says Lomelín.

(Photo: Courtesy)

Read more: Mexican scientists decipher the origin of a strange increase in high-energy cosmic rays

The records he’s broken

In 1990, Jaime fulfilled one of his dreams by crossing the English Channel, a 34-kilometer stretch of sea between England and France.

“It’s like Mount Everest for swimmers. It’s the most long-established event, the most emblematic one, and you encounter cold weather, currents, and jellyfish,” he says.

Lomelín remembers that he had 3 goals to achieve during the competition: to reach France, to break the Mexican record, and to have one of the best times for Latin America.

In the end, he achieved all three goals, and was also only the sixth Mexican to cross the English Channel.

During his career, he’s won first place at competitions in Mexico, such as at Los Cabos, the Guadalupano Swimming Marathon in Acapulco, and at the Sumidero Canyon. He’s also achieved the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming, which consists of 3 races: the English Channel; the Catalina Channel in California; and the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in New York.

Among the top 12 open water swimmers in the world

Lomelín recently competed in Los Cabos, where he was recognized as the most competitive open-water swimmer of all time, at the 2019 Open Water Swim.

As a result of that race, in which he won first place, as well as his track record of more than 40 years, he was nominated for the Man of the Year award by Antonio Argüelles, the first Mexican to swim the English Channel.

“The conditions were adverse for us. For the first four or five hours, the sea was calm. With 12 or 13 kilometers to go to Cabo San Lucas, there was a strong current and a lot of wind. That made the race more complex than it could have been. I did it in 10 hours 35 minutes, but if that section hadn’t been so rough, I would have done it in less than 10 hours,” Jaime explains.

The best swimmers of the year are nominated at this competition, organized by the World Open Sea Swimming Association, resulting in 12 finalists.

Lomelín is the only Mexican competing in 2020, and the winner is decided by open vote on the website throughout January.

“The simple fact that they’ve nominated me pleases me, and since I’m a good competitor, I’ll do everything I can to win,” added Lomelín.

He and Argüelles, who has already won first place before, are the only Mexicans to have taken part in this competition.

His dreams and goals for the future

“I remember my time at the Tec when I was younger. I wanted to swim the circuit to compete against the best. That was my dream. To test myself and to see how I did. Swimming and competing against them,” he says.

At the age of 57, after decades of competitions and many records, Jaime assures us that he doesn’t plan on stopping until he can’t keep going physically and mentally.

“The brain is a powerful thing. It plays for or against you. You have to guide it to give you positive thoughts. It’s just as important as, or even more important than physical preparation,” he says.

Along with his passion for open water swimming, Jaime is Vice-President of Sales and Marketing at the Osel paint company.

He also has three children, with whom he competes from time to time in the pool when he gets the chance. “It’s more about having fun and playing, but my kids are competitive. They always tell me to give them a few meters advantage to have us a ‘little race’. Today, my goals are to be the best version of myself in competitions and swims. I still want to break some Mexican records,” he says.

Here are some of his records:

The Mexican with the best time in:

Capri – Naples 33 km. Italy 1987

Manhattan 46 km. United States 2015

Double Relay of the English Channel. Great Britain – France 2006

Swim Across the Sound 25 km. United States 2018

Crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar 2019

Best positions in competitions:

Capri – Naples. Italy 1987. 4th place

Cancun International Swimming Marathon 1987. 4th place

Santa Fe – Coronda. Argentina 1987. 3rd place

Capri – Naples. Italy 1988. 8th place

Bacoli Bay. Italy 1988. 2nd place

Santa Fe – Coronda 1988. 5th place

US National Championship Swimming Marathon. United States 1990. 2nd place

Salvador Bay Brazil 1990. 3rd place

Lake Memphre Magog. Canada 1990. 8th place

Sumidero Canyon. Chiapas 1991. 1st place

Sumidero Canyon. Chiapas 1992. 2nd place

(Asael Villanueva / CONECTA)